Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zambales nickel processing to start this year

Benguet Corp., the oldest miner in the country, will likely start processing nickel ores this year.

"They have defended their feasibility study. It is a ’pelletizing’ plant to remove moisture from 30% so after processing it will only be 10%," Mr. Horacio C. Ramos, director of the Environment department’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau, told reporters.

Nickel ores from Benguet Corp’s 1,407.5-hectare nickel mine in the municipality of Sta. Cruz in Zambales will be processed in the plant.

The Sta. Cruz mine, which began commercial operations in 2006, has estimated resources of 19.528 million metric tons of ore at 1.36% grade nickel.

The miner cut net losses to P106.734 million in the first semester from P212.098 million last year.

Nickel prices have gone up to about $8 per pound from $6 per early this year. — Neil Jerome C. Morales - business world online

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